Geeks, gamers, superheroes, nerds, comics, cosplayers, Star Wars fans and appreciators of all things pop culture will gather for the Klamath County Library’s fourth annual Comic-Con — an all-encompassing event providing plenty of chances to revel in everything from toys to games.
The annual Comic-Con has grown each year in popularity and offers an array of activities. This year’s festivities will expand on some of its more popular elements, while adding new opportunities. Participants can design their own comic book, create or display costumes in a cosplay competition, revel in retro video games, play board games or prove who is the biggest geek of them all in a special trivia contest.
Taking place this year on Saturday, Oct. 28, the event begins and 10 a.m. and continues all day with various activities until 4:30 p.m. at the downtown Klamath County Library. The event is a celebration of cultural obsessions, a diverse and all-welcoming party covering everything from Pokémon to Star Wars.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with the response we’ve received from the community,” said Amy Payne, assistant librarian at the downtown branch who in addition to coordinating Comic-Con is responsible for monthly board and video game nights.
“It feels so great to offer an experience that would be difficult or expensive for Klamath Basin fans to participate in otherwise. I’m happy we draw such a diverse crowd, no matter who you are or what fandoms you participate in, you’re welcome here.”
People are strongly encouraged to cosplay — dressing up as a popular costumed characters — for the event as their favorite superhero, video game, film, animé or comic book character. There will be a costume contest with gift card prizes for the best dressed in various age groups. Adding to the costume fun, Star Wars costumers from the 501st Legion and the Rebel Legion will have Jedis, Sith and stormtroopers parading through the library in the afternoon.
If games are more your flavor, a designated retro video game area will provide free-to-play video game consoles from the 1970s through the late ‘90s all day, including old-school favorites such as Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Sega Dreamcast and N64.
There will also be an area dedicated to board games and miniature games courtesy of the Klamath Gaming Bureau, a group that also provides a free board game day every third Saturday of the month at 12:30 p.m. at the South Suburban Branch Library.
Comic-Con provides chances to learn as well, with a crafts area where people can make everything from a Batmobile to My Little Pony headbands and Wonder Woman armor. Craft activities start at 10 a.m. and will continue as long as supplies last. Starting at 11:30 a.m. expert dungeon masters and role-players will provide a tutorial in how to play and manage popular tabletop role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons. At 1:30 p.m. everyone, no matter how few artistic skills they possess, can learn how to make their own comics. A hands-on all-ages workshop will provide insight into how to write and draw comics, led by a resident expert in the field.
For those who think they know their Hufflepuffs from Jigglypuffs better than anyone else, they can enter a special trivia contest at 3 p.m. A pub-style trivia competition will test the merits of even the most ardent geeks and nerds, with prizes awarded courtesy of Basin Gaming. Participants in the costume contest must be entered by 3:30 p.m., with prizes awarded at 3:45 p.m.
“I was really impressed with the quantity and quality of costumers who participated last year — the Klamath Basin has a lot of passionate cosplayers,” said Payne. “It will be interesting to see what the most popular sources of costume inspiration are — last year, folks cosplayed as characters from a wide variety of video games, comics, animé, cartoons and movies, but it’s hard to beat the broad appeal of Halloween classics like fairies, ninjas, ghosts and cute animals.”
There will be a variety of food trucks parked outside the Klamath County Library during the event, including local Klamath Falls favorites Heavenly Thai, Slice It Up Pizza and Calzones, and Backyard Bento Teriyaki Grill.
Library Comic-Con activities coincide with Scarecrow Row, a downtown event for children and families from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. that includes a costume parade which will begin at 10:15 a.m. followed by trick-or-treating at downtown businesses from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Activities and games will be offered at the Farmers Market at Ninth and Main streets until 1:30 p.m.
Payne also encourages Pokémon Go players to wander the library and surrounding area in search of new monsters to catch via the popular augmented reality mobile game. There will be lures at the library’s Pokémon Go Poké Stop.
Volunteers are still being sought to assist in the Comic-Con activities. A volunteer application is available online at www.klamathlibrary.org/adults/comic-con or stop by the Main Library’s Youth Services desk. A mandatory volunteer orientation meeting will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26. Volunteers must be at least 13 years old to participate.
For more information visit www.klamathlibrary.org.